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The Journal Editorial Report

News/Business. Paul Gigot discusses news, politics, society and finance. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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00:30:00

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Obama 8, U.s. 7, America 5, Barack Obama 4, Us 4, Citi 3, Kim 3, Amway 3, Libya 3, Mr. Romney 3, Paul 3, Benghazi 3, George W. Bush 3, Cairo 2, Obama Administration 2, United States 2, Dan 2, Motorola 2, Bret 2, Indonesia 1,
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  FOX News    The Journal Editorial Report    News/Business. Paul Gigot discusses news,  
   politics, society and finance. New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    September 22, 2012
    11:00 - 11:30am PDT  

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>> this week on the journal editorial report. another rough week for mitt romney as his campaign settling on a new strategy. will their reboot work? plus, a closer look at the latest polls reveals some bright spots for the embattled republican. we'll tell you what they are. and, new information about the deadly consulate attack in libya raises new questions about the administration's response. we'll have the latest on that. and a look at the winners and the losers in the chicago teachers strike. ♪
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>> welcome to the journal, editorial report. i'm paul gigot, after another rough week for republican presidential hopeful mitt romney, whose advisors have reportedly settled on a plan to reset the struggling campaign dubbed more mitt. the idea is to put the candidate and policy ideas front and center, speeches, campaign appearances and tv ads like this one. >> my plan is to help the middle class. trade has to work for america, that means crack down on cheaters like china and open new markets. next, got to balance the budget. we've got to cut the deficit. we've got to stop spending more money than we take in. and regulations and health care policies that help small business and put those in place, 12 million new jobs in four years. >> paul: the question is, will it work? let's ask wall street journal columnist and deputy editor dan
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henninger, james freeman and washington columnist kim strassel. so, kim, what do you think about this new strategy? and i guess maybe start with the question of what does it say about the campaign that they feel they need a new strategy or a new direction focus two weeks after-- three weeks after the republican convention? >> well, they have had this perfect form over the last couple of weeks, they saw their poll numbers going down, following the democratic convention. there was this flap over mr. romney and his comments about egypt and libya, and then, you know, now the latest thing that he said about the 47% out there. so, there's been a lot of nervousness in the republican field and the silver lining of this, if there is one, it does give them an opportunity to go out and reboot and try to buck up some of those conservatives who are worried. what their strategy seems to be, is more mitt. we're going to put him out there more and have him talking more. i think the test is going to be, whether or not people are just
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seeing him. that doesn't help. they need to be hearing from him what he's going to do. >> okay. and dan, so, but hearing him say what? >> and the question. >> and what about that ad? he did list specifics, i think the campaign, two of their conservative critics would say, what do you want, henninger, not you what do you want gigot? >> i want answers. >> paul: so, what about. >> not to put too fine a point on it, paul. i thought the ad was ridiculous. the first thing what he said was what we need is a stronger trade policy, that's the issue foremost in the minds of voters trying to decide which one to vote for? secondly, the deficit, a balanced budget something kind of conservative hobby horse, it really is not resonating. and thirdly, why does he think that these sound bites, the trade, the deficit, small business, are going to turn voters in his direction? those are simply kind of platitudes with no substance beneath them. and if he's going to just do that for the next five weeks, i
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think he's going to be in big trouble. >> paul: james? >> okay. and for this, it was a bit vague, i didn't like the trade stuff. operate other hand you had a message of smaller government and a message of tax and regulatory relief to small businesses is often much bigger deal than taxes. it's unknown, difficult to deal with and time consuming, but to get more are those points compelling for middle class voters, obama hasn't done enough for you. i can do much more. which seems to be what the swing voters are really, really looking for. >> i think it's a step in the right direction. he has to get a little more aggressive, detailing the problem and saying here is how i'm going to get the burden of government off of business, and here is how we're going to grow jobs. i think he needs to go maybe beyond the ten seconds in the commercial so say, here is how lower taxes and lower regulations will create more hiring. >> well, you can't do that on a 30 second spot.
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>> that's right, drop the trade stuff and give him two more sentences in. >> if he does, he he will have an opportunity in the debates and press conferences and town hauls, he could do it. >> give speeches, why does not give a series of set 30 minute speeches on the obama record, on the economy, what his proposals would do on all of the specific issues? why doesn't egg deeper than that campaign has been willing to go so far as he obviously did not do in the acceptance speech. i don't get it, why are they afraid to simply lay it out on the table at this point and give the american people a chance to choose. >> paul: kim, can you answer dan's question? because based on my reporting, i cannot. >> well, i think the real issue here, what they're not doing is -- the problem i have, they keep seeming to think they can go out and tell people obama's done a terrible job. but, here is the thing, obama has his own message and his own message right now is, you know, here -- it could be worse, it could have been worse, i fixed it and by the way, this other
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day is going to do terrible things. >> paul: on that point. >> the only way to rebut that go out and say what you're going to do. >> paul: on that point, kim. we want to run a clip from an obama ad making some of their points. >> keep saying, this president cannot tell us that you're better off today than when he took office. well, here is where we were in 2008. >> worse financial collapse since the great depression. >> american workers were laid off in numbers not even in over three decades. >> here is where we are today. 30 months of private sector job growth. creating 4.6 million new jobs, we're not there yet, but the real question is, whose plan is better for you? the president's plan asks millionaires to pay a little more, to help invest in a strong middle class, clean energy and cut the deficit. mitt romney's plan, a new 250,000 tax break for multi-millionaires and roll back regulations on the banks that crater economy and raise taxes
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on the middle class. >> paul: james? effective ad? >> possibly. it included the mythical tax increase on there. >> totally, totally false. >>, but, no, i think it could be effective because mr. romney has not done what you look back to 1980 and echoed in the beginning of at that ad. are you better off than four years ago and talk about the speeches. one thing ronald reagan did, he didn't say that the economy stinks under jimmy carter, he explained mou government was strangling the economy and government had grown too big and a burden on the country. so, i think this is an effective ad if mr. romney does not fell the story how we got here and how we get out. >> paul: does he need to-- the republican candidate explain to voters why he's not the same as george w. bush? because obama is clearly trying to link the two and you say it's not better, it is better and by the way, he'd take us right bab to bush. >> i think it's late to be doing that, paul. on this bush issue, i think
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perhaps what romney should be doing is point out how false this charge is. george bush did not cause financial collapse of autumn of 2008. that was obviously rooted in toxic mortgage-backed securities, a policy that dated back at least 15 years, including democrats who supported this sort of thing. that's explainable. so, i think he should put some distance between himself and that and then talk about what barack obama did in response to it, which was to spend 18 months passing the affordable health care act which had nothing to do with raising jobs and the economy. >> paul: we'll see if he gets that and chase his chief efforts. when we come back, the attack on the u.s. embassy in benghazi leaves the white house scrambling. was it terrorism, was it pre planned, next. in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad
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people gathered outside the embassy and then, it grew very violent. those with extremist ties joined the frey and came with heavy weapons which unfortunately are quite common in post revolutionary libya and that then spun out of control. >> paul: that was u.n. ambassador susan rice on last weekend's fox news sunday describing the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi as a spontaneous demonstration sparked by an anti-muslim video that was taken over by extremists. after initially declining to characterize it as such, the obama administration this week finally called the assault a terrorist attack, but says there was no clear evidence of advanced planning coordination. but new information paints a far more complicated picture of the events that ended with the death of four americans, including the u.s. ambassador chris stevens. wall street journal foreign affairs, and mary kissle with
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more. >> bret, how does the susan rice argument hold up? >> either it was she poorly briefed or misleading her audience. it's just not true and doesn't square with the reporting about an attack that clearly was very well-coordinated, clearly very well-thought out and this administration really needs to reconsider whether it's going to blame this video and go on an apology tour throughout the muslim world instead of dealing squarely with what is a terrorist attack on the u.s. diplomatic facility. >> paul: is there evidence that the u.s. knew about this in advance and should have done more to protect that consulate? >> there were a series of attacks on this, on this consulate and the-- >> before september 11th anniversary. >> going back all the way to june and before then, very well-known that extremists, militants were well-entrenched in benghazi, that it was a very dangerous place to be and yet there seemed to be an attitude
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on the part of the embassy and on the part of the state department that we didn't want too much of a military presence to guard our embassies, somehow that would be provocative, in that way it's kind of an emblem of the obama administration as a whole. let's not put in too much force because maybe they'll attack us, and the lesson is it's the opposite. >> paul: mary, i guess if it's the video, that it's not their fault, there isn't any responsibility, they couldn't do anything about it, it was spontaneous street comustion and maybe that's the motivation for the analysis last week? >> it's interesting, as you're reading the news reports coming out a week later, you're starting to see unnamed officials and unnamed state department officials start to cover themselves, saying, look, we had an attack, for example, in june. that worked just fine. >> it's not easy to get the marines at at drop of a hat not sitting there drinking coffee at the airport. but i think to bret's point and the evidence i think is building up here and it's very damning. john mccain says after he was
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briefed this week, says it shows an abysmal level of knowledge out of the administration of terror attacks, and you know, if you're sitting in an embassy a consulate or a compound like this overseas, i think you've got to be pretty worried. >> paul: dan, let's bring this out. a lot of foreign policy is coming out, demonstrations across the arab world against the united states. you've got events elsewhere. foreign policy is supposed to be a big, big barack obama advantage in these campaigns? are these events changing that perception. >> i think they are and should be. one might ask, what is barack obama's foreign policy? the part of the problem is there's no sense that there's any sort of strategic idea. >> paul: i disagree with that. he would say to you, he would say, look, we're tough on terror, 0 we got bin laden, we've decimated the al-qaeda, and meanwhile, we've approached the islamic world in a different way, we've reached out, we've put on a better american face,
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not where like bush so my foreign policy is to engage the world and meanwhile, we're killing a really bad guy. >> tactical not-- >>, but barack obama's foreign policy is i'm barack obama. he came to cairo in june of 2009 and says, hi, i'm barack obama, i'm not george w. bush. we're going to have a nice conversation, i speak, you know, your language or wish i did, i grew up in indonesia, i have muslim relatives so therefore his analysis of the problem with the bush administration, essentially george w. bush gave america a big bad pr problem, that barack obama himself could solve. and the lesson four years later after, after all of this time of barack obama's healing glow over the muslim world is that we're every bit of detested as before, but considerably less feared. >> he has essentially lowered our profile, specifically, and consciously, it was to pull back and lower the u.s. profile in these areas of the world.
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what has happened you've in effect created a vacuum in all of the areas and they're all exploding. the middle east, the south china sea, africa. the pulling back has allowed people, the bad actors to step forward and fill the vacuum with what we're seeing on television right now. >> it's also, look at iraq and also reduced our leverage on players that are inclined to help us. there was news, again, just this week of overflights from iran to syria and the iraqi government basically can't do anything about it because we don't have a u.s. presence there anymore. >> and joe biden asked the president of iraq to please stop these flights and he's been rebuffed. and some say we may have to withdraw the aid if you don't stop the flight. but they don't have-- >> leverage. >> we have a lot less leverage with them. should mitt romney make foreign policy more after issue in the campaign? >> i think that obama is
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actually vulnerable on foreign policy. there's an image that obama got usama there for-- and dan points out, a very bad position, increasingly aggressive enough on the part of the east and iran rushing towards a nuclear weapon. >> paul: he can do that,'s he going to have an opportunity one of the debates almost all on foreign policy. i know bret can't wait for that. well, forget the middle east, if you're following presidential campaign, you may think that china is our biggest threat on the heels of harsh criticism from mitt romney. the president announced new trade sanctions against that country this week. is china bashing a solid strategy for either candidate? and you learned something along the way. this is the age of knowing what you're made of. so, why let erectile dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. 20 million men already have.
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>> these are things that harm men and women on the assembly line ohio, michigan and across the midwest and we're going to stop it, it's not right, it's against the law and we will not let it stand. >> this is president obama seei saying he'll see trade sanctions for china exporting automobiles and automobile parts putting u.s. manufacturers at a disadvantage. the announcement made in the swing state of ohio comes on the heels of attacks by the romney campaign accusing the administration of being soft upon china. >> this is america's manufacturing when president obama took office. this is china's. under obama, we've lost over half a million manufacturing jobs and for the first time, china is beating us, seven times obama could have stopped china's cheating. seven times he refused. >> it's time to stand up to the cheaters and make sure we protect jobs for the american
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people. >> paul: so, mary, let's first talk about the merits of the obama trade sanction or against china for subsidizing its automobile industry. fair? >> yeah, isn't it terrible, paul, that chinese citizens are subsidizing cheaper automobiles for millions and millions of american consumers, which is what neither would acknowledge. look, it may be a compare complaint. that's what the wto is there to do. >> world trade organization. >> is it arbitrate these complaints, but the problem is the obama administration has politicized this process as we saw today or with the announcement, and made that announcement in ohio. the administration has been politicizing trade since 2009 when they launched their first case against china at the behest of the united steel workers, when that hans, it's hard to tell if it's a fair complaint. because, the way that they've prosecuted these cases is, it's very political. >> blame has to be equally
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aportioned to mitt romney. who this is a guy who really ought to know better. when he's talking about protecting jobs, that's a democratic talking point. he should be talking about creating jobs. >> and opening markets. >> and opening markets and that's exactly it. and this is why, i think, so many voters are uncomfortable with mitt romney because he's not presenting an alternative. he's presenting a kind of "me too" populism which we haven't seen. i don't know if we've had two protectionist candidates for presidency since 1920's. >> paul: you call mitt romney protectionist, but one of the pillars of his agenda and turns around and contradicts that and says except for china and slap them with trade sanctions, it doesn't really connect. >> it doesn't really connect. let's look at politics of this. this is obviously aimed at the auto producing states around the great lakes. so, mitt romney goes into ohio and says, the chinese are
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cheaters, all right? he lays his cards on the table and the president comes in and says he's launching the wto complaint and talks about the things he's done on china and it steams to me that it's basically like chess. mitt moved in, the president moved in, you default to the president because it's a very complicated subject and i think it was a complete waste of political capitaand time by the romney administration. >> it takes a difference of opinion to make a horse race, as they say, if you don't have a difference in the campaign, no real advantage, particularly if you're the opposition, who is trying to make a case, fine some issues with which he can criticize the president instead of the president saying i'm just as tough as mitt. >> what's happening in global trades, a lot of free trade agreements between the countries of the asia pacific and zero between the united states and the eu. all the countries in the fastest growing part of the country, and meanwhile the obama administration is doing nothing, but implementing what the bush
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administration-- >> and romney has an opportunity to educate american voters, even when we have chinese imports, quote, what's made in china isn't made in china. and those created thousands of jobs along the value chain in the united states. a herridge study that says that clothing and toy manufacturing alone half a million or so jobs that were supported in 2010. so, again, this is a chance for romney to do what reagan did, which was educate people about the benefits of free trade, of capitalism, of prosperity, of opening markets and it's his inability to do this. >> all fine and good, bret, but he would say, look, what about the voters who don't have college degrees, those folks struggling who rely on manufacturing and i've got to speak up for them and that's fine for you college educated folks, but not only get those voters, but i have to speak to their aspirations. >> by all means do that as part of the aspiration of a growing economy that's creating job, also there's a manufacturing renaissance in the united states
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largely due or increasingly due to the domestic energy supplies, another point he can raise against barack obama. this is a guy who is cutting or keystone, want to increase our domestic energy. >> paul: thank you all. still ahead with new swing state polls showing president obama ahead, even some republicans are ready to pack it in. but, is the surrender premature? g.o.p. polster takes a closser look at the numbers when we come back. droid does. and does it launch apps by voice while learning your voice ? launch cab4me. droid does. keep left at the fork. does it do turn-by-turn navigation ? droid does. with verizon, america's largest 4g lte network, and motorola, droid does. get $100 off select motorola 4g lte smartphones like the droid razr. boring. boring. [ jack ] after lauren broke up with me, i went to the citi private pass page
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